TAMPA ― As his mounting collection of modified practice schedules will attest, Charlie Strong understands the area’s volatile weather pattern as well as anyone.
But he’d likely surrender his monthly car stipend for one night of meteorological stability, on Aug. 30.
“I just hope I have good hot weather that night,” Strong said. “Real steamy weather.”
From a humidity standpoint, Strong hopes the Wisconsin Badgers won’t know what hit them when they arrive at Raymond James Stadium for the season opener a week from Friday.
The game will be the 19th-ranked Badgers’ first regular season contest in the state of Florida since Sept. 4, 1988, when they fell 23-3 at Miami in the old Orange Bowl. They’ve played 11 bowl games in the state since then, winning six.
But as any weather-worn Florida resident can testify, late December can’t hold a thermometer to late August in these parts.
The local temperature reached 91 degrees last Aug. 30, five degrees shy of the area record for that date, according to weather.com. On the same date last year in Madison, the high reached only 81 (with a low of 57).
The Aug. 30 weather.com forecast for Tampa currently calls for a high of 87 degrees, with 84-percent humidity.
“We practice in it every day,” fifth-year senior left tackle Billy Atterbury said.
"I mean, you guys have seen it’s rained a lot during camp, and it’s been super muggy and hot and humid, and I think that’s something that...we thrive in.
“It’s an everyday thing for us, and if it’s something that they’re not used to, yeah, absolutely it can be used (as an advantage).”